Compact Aluminum wire for new shop. Any good? - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    I'm one that all for learning along the way.

    Yet I still do not understand what any of this has to do with FK's query.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by FK View Post
    We are all aware and have read of the problems with aluminum wire. So, we are building a new shop, one of the electrical bidders come in and I ask if he is using copper. "No, we use compact aluminum". No, I say, I want copper; aluminum is too much hassle for me. He replies with reassurance that this is not the aluminum of the past. He's been installing this for years without issues....blah, blah, blah. I've never actually heard aluminum wire called "compact" before. Is this actually an improved product or still the same turd with a different colored bow?
    Before you pour concrete, be sure the rebar is used for the Main Service ground. Every metal pipe, rod etc.

    I agree with you , use COPPER

    Do not derate the neutral (make it smaller than the powered lines), upsize the neutral if you have lots of inverters and VFD's, anything electrically noisy.

    Have accessory ground bus(s) installed in the Main panel and any sub panels and use 1 conductor per terminal.

    Be sure the lugs in the electrical panels are correctly torqued (including circuit breakers) and do a follow up torque after a period of time.

    Install a surge protector at the Main for each powered line.

    Follow the National Electrical Code (NEC) but know that it is the MINIMUM REQUIREMENT for electrical work. You can always do better.

    Additionally, your local code office will tell you if they have adopted the NEC, know that the local Authority having jurisdiction can supersede (down or up)the NEC.

    When you load the system for the first time, scan the breakers, buss bars, cables with an infrared non contact temperature meter. You can get them on sale at HFT for $20. Any obvious heating can indicate bad electrical connections that will eventually fail and cause false trips.

    Aluminum wire will corrode (the instant it is in contact with oxygen), therefore when used in electrical power, the stripped wire end is immediately well coated with a NO Oxidation compound (I use NO OX). It must also be correctly torqued in the electrical lug. Unfortunately, aluminum shrinks and expands with temperature cycling so it needs to be frequently heat checked and torqued when needed.

    Copper is much more stable in an electrical panel environment.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zahnrad Kopf View Post
    I'm one that all for learning along the way.

    Yet I still do not understand what any of this has to do with FK's query.
    That's because you have better things to do.

  4. #24
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    So, to follow up and close my query; Aluminum wire, good or bad, work fine or not, is not worth the upfront cost savings to me. Simply for peace of mind. There are a ton more cost factors in the submitted quotes that are way more than the few thousand dollar difference going from Al to Cu wire.

  5. Likes bryan_machine liked this post

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